We gave it an A
Bran tells Samwell that Jon Snow’s mother is Lyanna Stark. He also confirms the key bit of news the show held back from last season’s Tower of Joy flashback — Jon’s father is indeed Prince Rhaegar. He truly has Targaryen blood. Bran says Jon needs to know who he really is. You’d think Bran could have included this bit of intel to Jon in the 28 scrolls he’s sent to Dragonstone by ExpressRaven this season…but then we would have presumably been denied the upcoming #BoatSex scene and, well, we’re kinda torn about that. Perhaps everything has worked out for the best and/or worst.
Sam surprises Bran by knowing something Mr. All-Seeing did not know — that Rhaegar married Lyanna in a secret ceremony. This triggers Bran to have a vision where we see Prince Rheagar marrying a happy and non-kidnapped Lyanna.
It’s impossible to understate how big of a deal this is. It means Roberts Rebellion and the overthrow of the Targaryens was built on a lie. It means Jon Snow has no business being King in the North. It means Jon Snow has every right to sit on the Iron Throne. And it means Daenerys — after seven seasons of questing for the Iron Throne with total certainty that ruling the Seven Kingdoms is her birthright — is not the true heir at all.
Oh, and Jon’s name isn’t even Jon! You know nothing, Jon Snow, not even your real first name. He’s … Aegon! … Yeah, we’re not entirely thrilled by that either. The man doesn’t exactly look like an Aegon (though we’re also not entirely sure what an Aegon looks like). Plus there’s the whole incest thing. Which we get to watch next.
Here’s what’s really weird about Jon and Dany’s romance: We all started watching this show with our anti-incest feelings clear and intact. Thrones introduced an incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jaime in the pilot, and we learned Daenerys is also the product of incest (the Mad King marries his sister). We gradually got to know these characters, accepted who they are, and, to some degree, accepted how incest plays a role in who they are.
For all of season 7, we’ve been certain-ish that Jon and Dany are related. Yet most fans are rooting for them to get together. Game of Thrones established incest as part of its fantasy world — it’s not celebrated but also not uncommon — and then kept Jon and Dany apart for so long, separately growing them as awesome, heroic, and sexy characters. So we feel both of them deserve romantic happiness and we know they’re compatible in so many rare and uncommon ways. Even though their courtship has felt rushed this year, we begin this episode wanting to see Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen hook up. Story-wise, this is a stealth accomplishment: Game of Thrones has gradually convinced millions of fans around the world, over several years of storytelling, to root for something they would normally consider totally disgusting and immoral. In other words: GoT has taken us from “incest boo!” to “incest yay!” and it only took seven years to do it.
I love that this next sequence has no dialogue. There’s some voiceover, but between Jon and Daenerys there is only silence. They have talked enough. They both know what’s looming between them. Jon knocks on her cabin door… Next: Jon Snow and Not His Aunt